Controversial plans to build a quarry next to a school have been refused, to the joy of thousands of residents and campaigners.

At a tense Hampshire County Council meeting in Winchester, the planning committee voted unanimously to refuse Cemex's application to extract 250,000 tons of sand and gravel a year on land the size of 84 football pitches on Hamble Airfield.

Among the most vocal opponents of the plan were MP Paul Holmes, who spoke at today's meeting.

Daily Echo: Paul Holmes MP and Hamble School pupils outside Number 10He told the Echo: "I can say I am more than pleased, I am absolutely thrilled and delighted.

"This is all down to the work of residents and the Hamble Parish Council who have worked with me on this.

"I think it is the right decision and it has always been my view that Hamble should never be subjected to a quarry on this site. The council has listened."

Since the application was made in 2021, voices of dissent have grown - culminating in 5,744 written objections.

The main concerns have been flooding, noise and air pollution and clogging up Hamble's road network.

More recently there have been a string of protests - from students and staff at The Hamble School when the council came to inspect the site on April 29, who also joined residents outside the county council building earlier today.

Speaking at today's meeting was Year 11 student Oscar Hill, who was worried how the quarry could impact his younger brother's education.

Daily Echo: Year 11 students Molly Slattery, Oscar Hill and Natasha Obiajunwa at the protest on April 29.Year 11 students Molly Slattery, Oscar Hill and Natasha Obiajunwa at the protest on April 29. (Image: NQ)He said: "I’m deeply upset by how our future will be affected due to the issues outlined today", adding: “Hamble is absolutely the wrong location; you would not build a school next to a quarry, so why would you build a quarry next to a school?”

Hamble Parish Council chairman Chris Jones said he was 'pleased' with today's decision, adding: "Hamble Airfield is right at the centre of our village, surrounded by homes, two schools, and many thriving businesses.

"To quarry here for gravel would harm the whole peninsula for generations."

According to Mr Holmes, Cemex will appeal the decision - and he 'will fight that', he said.

Both he and Mr Jones urged Hampshire County Council to remove Hamble Airfield from the emerging Minerals and Waste Plan so no further applications can be made in future.

Mr Jones said: "Hamble is not the right place for a quarry – not now, not ever."